Tom Brady had his four-game suspension overturned by Judge Richard Berman in the Deflategate fiasco. After the NFL and Brady failed to come to an agreement on a compromise, the ruling reinstates Brady for the Patriots on opening day. Berman determined that being “generally aware” of balls being deflated is not punishable by suspension. Brady, even if he was generally aware as the NFL asserted, had no obligation to “cooperate” in rectifying the situation.
Judge Berman took 40 pages to explain his ruling. The Patriots will play the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 10 with Brady behind center. Whether he’ll be able to accurately throw the fully inflated footballs he’ll use in that game is not yet known. The NFL is expected to appeal the ruling. Appeals can take months, which in a worst case scenario for Patriots fans would mean a reinstatement of Brady’s suspension later in the season, even just in time for the playoffs.